Here are suggestions to help you get your lost time back.

AA020053If you are normal (You are, aren’t you?) you lose from 2 to 3 hours a day due to interruptions and schedule changes. Let’s get some of that lost time back.

Bear in mind that if you’ve made a list of where your time goes, you now have a list of where your time leaks are. If you haven’t made a list of where your time goes, start by making a list.

OK, now you know where your major time leaks are, so let’s now set up some strategies to plug those specific leaks.

Let’s say, for example, that you notice on your time leak list that you lose a lot of time because one of your associates keeps interrupting you on a regular basis. Why not suggest to that associate that you meet with each other every morning from __ to __ to talk over any matters that need to be discussed so you don’t have to keep interrupting each other and thereby losing re-focus time?

By the same token, why not be more assertive with people who interrupt you by saying;

1) “I’m busy now. Can we meet at __”?
2) “I have just a couple of minutes. How can I help you?’” or perhaps
3) “Let’s meet in three hours. Please have a couple of solutions we can discuss.”

Other phrases you might want to consider using are:

1) “I’m in the middle of something”
2) “I have people waiting”, or
3) “I’m working on a job for __. Could we please meet in two hours?”

You might want to consider setting up signals with your associates so you don’t interrupt each other when you signal. Note: all good teams use signals to communicate.

Other ideas that might help you are:

1) Assign certain times of the day to certain tasks.
2) Remove extra chairs from your office (Do this for sure.)
3) Rearrange your desk so the natural line of sight is not out the office door.
4) Use caller ID and, when you see who’s calling, let their message go into voice mail.

And be certain that you clear up your work area so you save the time of looking for lost things, which generally totals 36 minutes a day (That’s a loss of 3 hours a week).

The suggestions described above are for obvious time thieves. What about the sneaky thieves?

Sneaky thieves are all those devices that have a screen on them:

● cell phone
● computer
● ipad
● television
● Blackberry
● Xbox

Set time limits for anything with a screen, particularly television and internet, or else those screens will lure you into giving away more and more of your time!

Remember: Time is your most important asset. It’s worth protecting by using specific time saving strategies like the ones listed above.

Do you have a strategy of your own that helps you get lost time back, one that’s not listed here? If so, please tell us about it here so we all can benefit.

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